Did you have any apprehension about being off the radar for so long?
I think it's good to let people forget about you for a little while. You need to have a life to write about. I was trying to focus on that. I tried to challenge myself to go from the gut on this one and not hold anything back.
More on Your
The last album went gold – it was perceived as a failure and it made me reassess things. I went back and listened to that record a lot and went back to journals I'd been writing. That record came from a really confusing place. We'd just come off a huge success and I was new to living in California and it was a confusing, lonely time. I lost a bit of my idealism. I was out doing a lot of dating and that's enough to send anybody running into a severe depression (laughs).
Are you still single?
No, I have a really great girlfriend, Melina – we live together. I'm really, really happy with that. It took a little adjustment because I hadn't lived with anybody since my wife and that was years ago.
How'd you meet Melina?
I met her in a record store in New York City about two-and-a-half years ago. We were doing a signing. She was doing these charity auctions on eBay and she had a bunch of CDs for me to sign. We kind of hit it off and we talked on the phone for months. I tried to run away from her every possible way I could. She was like, "You'll be here when you want to be." I was very smitten with that.
It's a good time for you – you've found love and now you've got a new album.
It feels amazing. I really like this record – I'm not trying to blow my own horn here. We took a year to write and record it and it's a really good feeling to finally have it completed. It's exciting to be working again. I'm not ready to get a real job yet.
You guys will be hitting the road with the Counting Crows this summer. Are you ready?
I'm spending a ton of time at the gym and running until my feet are killing me. I'm trying to get back in shape. I've got to lose the last few pounds. I got back to Los Angeles from Buffalo and got on my bathroom scale and went, "Oh my god, you fat pig." Now I'm getting my groove back.